Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Korea convenes legislative session, Kim not present: KCNA

Korea convenes legislative session, Kim not present: KCNA

Kim Jong Un's attendance is not mandatory, although in previous occasions he has made speeches at the events. "I think we'll go in with a lot of respect and we'll see what happens, but China has really helped us at the border and we appreciate it".

The session came ahead of Kim's envisioned talks with South Korean President Moon Jae In on April 27 and with U.S. President Donald Trump possibly by the end of May or in early June.

China is North Korea's only major ally and economic benefactor.

For decades, North Korea has dangled the prospect of "denuclearization" - freezing its nuclear weapons programs - but only if the U.S. withdraws its forces from South Korea. "They've been really terrific at helping us get to some kind of settlement".

Pompeo brushed aside concerns that the administration's moves to modify a nuclear deal with Iran could make reaching an agreement with North Korea more hard.

Trump told reporters before a cabinet meeting that the summit would be sometime in "May or early June" - letting the original May time line slip a little, but confirming the meeting is still on.

The parliament assembly had been in focus due to the flurry of diplomacy recently seen centering on North Korea including the inter-Korean summit, with policymakers keen to see whether Kim Jong Un would offer comments that would lend insight to his stance on related affairs.

Last year, North Korea accused Pompeo of favoring such a policy after the Central Intelligence Agency director told a forum in July that it was important to separate the country's nuclear weapons from the "character who holds the control over them".

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